PLace

Khirbat al-Burj

Place
Khirbat al-Burj — خِرْبَة البُرْج
District
Haifa
Average Elevation
25 m
Subdistrict
Haifa
Distance from Haifa
34.5 km
Land Ownership (1944/45) in dunums
Year Arab Jewish Public Total
1944/45 15 4933 343 5291
Land Use (1944/45) in dunums
Use Arab Jewish Public Total
Non-Cultivable & Built-up (Total)
Use Arab Jewish Public Total
Non-Cultivable 2 168 343 513
2 168 343 513 (10%)
Cultivable (Total)
Use Arab Jewish Total
Cereal 2607 2607
Plantation and Irrigable 13 1190 1203
Citrus and Bananas 968 968
13 4765 4778 (90%)

The village stood on rolling terrain on the central coastal plain. It was known for its citrus crops. In 1944 a total of 13 dunums of village land was irrigated or used for orchards. The nearby Tall al-Burayj (147214), an archaeological site, contained the foundations of buildings and granite columns.

Khirbat al-Burj was probably seized in the early weeks of the fighting. The nearest Arab community to it was the large village of Qisarya (Caesarea), just to the west. That village was occupied and its people were expelled in mid-February 1948, in the context of an operation designed to render a large swath of coastal territory empty of Arabs in the first few months of the war. By the end of March, many coastal communities between Tel Aviv and Zikhron Ya'aqov had been attacked in a series of raids carried out by Zionist forces. These resulted in driving out entire communities, sometimes through direct expulsion and sometimes through fear of attack, according to Israeli historian Benny Morris.

The settlement of Binyamina (145214) was established in 1922 near the village site, to the north. It is not, however, on village lands.

Much of the site is covered by rubble, which lies amid the grass and cactus plants. The walls of a large stone building (possibly a khan; see Glossary) are still standing. The surrounding lands are used by Israeli farmers for citrus cultivation.